FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2023
CONTACT: Rachel Tripp & Lisa Schoch ([email protected])
Charity Pirates: New Campaign Exposes ASPCA and Humane Society For Hoarding Money in the Caribbean
New TV ad and viral petition expose millions in offshore investments, donor confusion, and sky-high executive compensation
Washington, D.C. – The Center for the Environment and Welfare (CEW) today announced the launch of a new paid media campaign to expose the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for stashing millions of dollars in the Caribbean.
Most recently published tax returns show that the groups have a combined $70 million in offshore accounts.
The campaign to expose these “Charity Pirates” and their offshore bank accounts is the latest in CEW’s ongoing effort to educate donors and the public. Key elements of the campaign include a national television ad airing on stations across the country, paid digital ads on Twitter and Facebook, and the website CharityPirates.com.
The site reveals disturbing facts about ASPCA and HSUS, including:
- The Humane Society of the United States is unaffiliated with local humane societies and does not run a single pet shelter.
- The ASPCA is unaffiliated with local SPCAs.
- Both groups give only 1-2% of the money they raise to local shelters.
- ASPCA CEO Matt Bershadker makes nearly $1 million per year.
- HSUS CEO Kitty Block makes nearly $500,000 per year.
- Polling reflects donor confusion around how ASPCA operates – 81% of people mistakenly think that the ASPCA is an umbrella organization for local SPCAs; 77% mistakenly believe that ASPCA contributes most of its money to local organizations that care for pets.
The effort to hold the ASPCA accountable has quickly gained public support. A Change.org petition, “Tell the ASPCA to Stop Hoarding Money Instead of Helping Local Shelters” has garnered over 80k signatures. The petition has become one of the platform’s top-performing petitions in less than two months, trending on the site and earning a homepage feature.
CEW’s petition gained over eighty thousand signatures in less than two months
CEW Executive Director Jack Hubbard had this to say about the effort:
“Every year, thousands of well-intentioned Americans donate to groups like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States, believing that their donations are going directly to local shelters. In reality, these donations are supporting sky-high CEO salaries with only 1-2 percent being distributed to local shelters. The millions being housed offshore raises serious questions and donors deserve answers.
We are calling on both groups to explain their “investments” and immediately distribute their massive offshore holdings to local shelters that are on the front lines of rescuing animals and preventing euthanasia. It is unethical for charities to hoard millions of donor dollars when one million cats and dogs are being euthanized each year.”
About the Center for the Environment and Welfare
Earlier this year, CEW launched the first phase of a sustained effort to expose the duplicity of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). As part of this effort, CEW released a bombshell report that details the disturbing truth about the ASPCA. CEW encourages donors to support local shelters and rescues.